The predictive value of serum enzymes for perioperative myocardial infarction after cardiac operations. An autopsy study

F. Van Lente, A. Martin, N. B. Ratliff, S. C. Kazmierczak, F. D. Loop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We evaluated the utility of serum enzyme and isoenzyme activities for detecting autopsy-proved perioperative myocardial infarction in patients who died after cardiac operations. We studied 79 patients who had autopsies performed after coronary artery bypass grafting or valve replacement, or both. Thirty-seven had histologic evidence of a perioperative myocardial infarction. We found statistically significant differences between the group of patients with infarction and the group without infarction when we compared the mean activities of creatine kinase, creatine kinase MB, aspartate aminotransferase, and the lactate dehydrogenase-1/lactate dehydrogenase-2 ratio. The postoperative changes in serum enzymes were analyzed by logistic regression for their relation to perioperative myocardial infarction. Creatine kinase MB exhibited the best diagnostic association with the presence of perioperative myocardial infarction. The lactate dehydrogenase-1/lactate dehydrogenase-2 ratio correlated to a lesser extent with infarction. Adjustment of the diagnostic cutoff to 133 U/L for creatine kinase-MB measured 15 hours after operation yielded a sensitivity of 0.60 and a specificity of 1.0. This study demonstrates that no combination of enzyme activity changes after operation can completely discriminate all patients with perioperative myocardial infarction from those without. Nonetheless, measurement of creatine kinase MB activity provide 96% accuracy for diagnosing infarction at a prevalence of 10%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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